On 28 October 2012, the Federal Government released the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper (Paper), providing a framework for a national dialogue on Australia’s place in the Asian region and outlining the reforms necessary to allow Australians and in particular Australian business to benefit from and take advantage of Asia’s increasingly prominent role in the global economy in the 21st century – the Asian Century.

The Paper is a powerful reminder of the extraordinary growth and development of Asia over the last 20 years and highlights the importance of the region to many of Australia’s key industries over the coming decade, including our mining and resources, banking and financial services, education, infrastructure development and education sectors.

The Paper reinforces that Australia’s proximity to the region alone, will not be sufficient for the nation to realise the full potential of the region and a strong and focused approach from Government and industry alike, will be required to implement the recommendations and reach the objectives outlined in the Paper.

Going forward, it will be crucial for Australian entities and organizations that wish to benefit from, and share in, the continued growth of the region, to:

  • establish or build upon existing relationships with financial institutions, professional firms and key industry players in the region; 
  • develop a long term investment and/or development strategy for the region or particular member countries; 
  • educate their employees in the benefit of region and the individual cultures with in the region; and 
  • work with the government to develop and implement a transparent and predictable policy framework across relevant industry sectors, including providing feedback on and actively engaging in proposed regulatory reforms within a sector.